dimanche 31 juillet 2016

Forums Available for Xiaomi Redmi Pro!

 

 Welcome to the newest member in the house, as the Xiaomi Redmi Pro has received its own set of forums. Head on over to collaborate with other users who plan to pick up the device!



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[Giveaway] Win a OnePlus 3 With Dash Charge!

One of the most flaunted features of OEMs in recent years has been charging speed, with seemingly everyone looking to demonstrate the fastest and most efficient method of giving your device juice.

The OnePlus 3 launched with a charging solution known as Dash Charge, unencumbered by power heavy tasks such as gaming. Dash Charging will charge the OP3 to 63% in just half an hour, incredibly useful for those of us who are cursed by heavy usage and only short breaks throughout our day. OnePlus have generously offered one lucky reader the chance to take home a OnePlus 3 for free! All you have to do to enter is to answer this question via tweet:

“what would you do with the extra time in your day not spent charging your phone?”

Whether it would be spending that time modding your device, taking selfies or dominating gyms in Pokemon Go we want to know. Just be sure to use the hashtag #DaysPowerHalfHour and for an extra shot at the prize simply leave a comment below.


 

 

Please note this contest is only open to residents of the United States



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Evan Blass: Android 7.0 Nougat Releases Next Month with 5th August Security Patch

Serial tipster @evleaks mentioned on his Twitter account that the Android 7.0 Nougat update will be released “next month” (i.e. August), along with the 5th August security patch. He also goes on to mention that Nexus 5 users will not get Android 7.0 Nougat update despite its early release, but the move isn’t very surprising considering usual support patterns.



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What’s the Worst Thing That’s Ever Happened to a Device of Yours?

At XDA, we know that we should always take precautions to ensure our device is safe. Whether that means carefully following flashing instructions or protecting our phone inside a tough case, we want to make sure our devices reach the end of the day unscathed — or at the very least, functional.

But accidents happen sometimes. A sudden fall, glossing over a specific flashing requirement, or simply unjustified overconfidence can quickly put your phone to rest (at least until you repair or restore it). Sometimes, we are just hit by plain bad luck, often resulting in frustrating but somewhat funny scenarios. So we ask you,

What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to a device of yours? Was it an accident, a case of overconfidence, or an honest mistake? How bad was the damage, and how’d you get around it?

Share your stories below and join the conversation, and show pictures if you have them!



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Peiter Zatko is Grading Software Based on Security Flaws

Peiter Zatko, along with his wife, are former NSA mathematicians and they’ve developed a first-of-its-kind method for actually grading pieces of software for security flaws. The system will now give users the ability to “comparison shop” for programs like browsers, applications, and antivirus products based on how secure they are.



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Samsung is Rumored to Announce the Gear S3 at IFA 2016

SamMobile says they have exclusive information about the upcoming Gear S3 from Samsung. If true, the smartwatch will be like its predecessor and have a rotary bezel again, which also implies it will be round again as well. Their sources are also telling them that the Gear S3 will be unveiled at IFA in September of this year.



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Xiaomi Redmi Pro to use OLED Panels from BOE and EverDisplay

When you think of a smartphone with an OLED panel, you almost always assume it’s from Samsung since they are responsible for 90% of the market. Xiaomi decided to go with two Chinese companies for the OLED panels of the Redmi Pro though (presumably to keep costs down). So the OLED panel on Xiaomi’s latest smartphone will be coming from both BOE and EverDisplay.



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DxOMark Reviews the Camera on the Xperia X Performance

DxOMark just published their review of the Sony Xperia X Performance and they felt it was just as good as the HTC 10 and Galaxy S7 Edge. They felt the autofocus was fast, the noise was controlled in low light and it had good stabilization, exposure and white balance. In their experience, HDR failed to trigger sometimes, and highlights in bright outdoor scenes can be over-exposed.



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Sony is Negotiating with Murata to Offload Battery Business

Sony has entered into a non-binding memorandum with Murata Manufacturing in hopes to transfer the company’s battery business. The two companies hope to come to an agreement about the deal sometime in October of this year. If everything goes well, the goal is to complete the transfer by March of next year (assuming it passes regulatory approval).



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samedi 30 juillet 2016

Off-brand Android: Live TV USB Antenna Review

In my ongoing quest to find and review the most bizarre Android accessories, I kept stumbling across this Android TV antenna. According  to the product description, this device will work anywhere in the US and provide you with a live TV feed. I finally got my hands on this device and was able to try it out for myself.

vlcsnap-2016-07-29-03h00m05s182

I had my doubts about the ability to receive a TV signal through my USB port. Still, I am unsure as to if this is even possible. What I do know for sure is that this product is not the solution for watching live TV.

vlcsnap-2016-07-29-03h05m02s968

Everything already looked suspicious when the only thing this product came with was an unmarked CD with no description of what it was for. Had I opened this five years ago and still had an optical drive on my computer, I would have been able to tell you what the contents of this CD are. For now it will have to remain a mystery.

vlcsnap-2016-07-29-03h14m39s231

After installing the companion app to test out the live TV, I found that all of the content was being streamed through my data connection. There was no need for the antenna to be plugged in to get any of the content from the app.

vlcsnap-2016-07-27-17h32m24s422

Curious as to whether there was even anything inside of this USB adapter, I popped open the case. It definitely wasn’t empty but how this thing was even supposed to work, I wasn’t sure.

This product was a massive fail. Do you have any suggestion on what I review next? Let me know in the comments.



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vendredi 29 juillet 2016

Emulate Gyroscope on Android With GyroEmu

While a gyro sensor is a standard for high-end phones, there are some devices that lack thereof. Luckily, XDA Forum Member Mourdraug created an Xposed Framework module that emulates this sensor. If you have a device without gyroscope, you can find it useful. For more specific information and APK file, head over to the forum thread.



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Sony Mobile is Back in the Black with $4 Million in Profit

After closing offices, cutting jobs, and tightening the belt, Sony Mobile is finally making a profit again. During Q2 of last year, the company’s mobile division lost $188 million. Even though their sales were down 33%, Sony Mobile brought in $4 million in profit from its $1.8 billion in overall revenue.



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Facebook has 1.03 Billion Mobile Daily Active Users

Facebook has just announced they have grown their mobile user base over 20% compared to last year. Their mobile daily active users are now up to 1.03 billion (which is up 22% compared to last year), and they now have 1.57 billion mobile monthly active users (which is up 20% compared to last year). They also announced that mobile now makes 84% of their total advertising revenue.



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Swiftkey Suspends Sync Services After Users Start Seeing Suggestions from Other Users

Swiftkey has stopped Sync services for its keyboard after it was reported that a few users started seeing suggestions that did not belong to them. A user reported seeing German suggestions on an English keyboard along with a different person’s email. The error is believed to have been caused because of a bug in the keyboard’s synchronization features and hence, these have been deactivated till the issue is solved.



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Ask TK | Answers For July 2016

The Sorry State of Android Fragmentation: An Example to Understand Developers’ Plight

Fragmentation has been a contentious issue in Android quite literally since the mobile operating system was announced.

Apart from being a cudgel for trolls to use in online flame-wars, the diversity that comes with fragmentation is now largely seen as a net positive for consumers of Android devices. After all, we’re given so much freedom in choosing the kind of device with the kind of software we want that it’s hard for the average consumer to care about fragmentation. Visualizing the incredible variety of Android devices produces a beautiful mosaic of Android’s diverse representation.

An Example of Android Device Fragmentation based on App Installations of OpenSignal's app. Source: OpenSignal

An Example of Android Device Fragmentation based on App Installations of OpenSignal’s app. Source: OpenSignal

But hardware and software fragmentation doesn’t make for a happy software developer. In fact, quite the opposite. Developing an app across so many different hardware and software configurations can prove to be a major nuisance when debugging. OEMs can make major or subtle changes that need to be accounted for when developing an app, but there’s really no easy way for the individual developer to ensure that their app will work universally. While the average consumer has long since forgotten about the fragmentation debate, the issue still haunts Android app developers and there’s seemingly nothing to do about it except suck it up and deal with the errors as they appear.


The Sorry State of Fragmentation

One OEM in particular receives a large portion of hate for the headaches they cause when developing an app — Samsung. Developers have been ranting about Samsung for years now, some even writing such scathing pieces as “There is a Special Place for Samsung in Android Hell” which describes a particularly frustrating bug stemming from Samsung devices and the support appcompat library. I would like to draw attention to one paragraph in particular from Mr. Ambri’s rant, which excellently outlines why developers still care about fragmentation:

If you are an Android developer, your hatred for Samsung devices is probably boundless. More than an average user, for whom Samsung is synonymous with silly Touchwiz and excessive bloatware, you despise Samsung because you don’t have a choice. Because of Samsung’s massive market share, you simply cannot choose not to support Samsung devices. And that’s what hurts the most; the fact that this choice is taken away from you!

This is not a rant from the olden years of Android’s existence either – this post was published in the middle of December last year. I will be upfront and state that I’m not sure if this issue has been officially fixed yet, however, Mr. Ambri has provided a fix in his post for anyone who stumbles across his rant via a Google search for the bug. All you have to do is use ProGuard with the following single line of code:

# Samsung ruining all nice things
-keep class !android.support.v7.view.menu.**,
 !android.support.design.internal.NavigationMenu,
 !android.support.design.internal.NavigationMenuPresenter,
 !android.support.design.internal.NavigationSubMenu, 
android.support.** {*;}

That’s not so bad, now is it? The problem, though, is that this fix was pulled off of Stack Overflow. Don’t get me wrong, Stack Overflow is a great website. But it’s not really an ideal source for discovering fixes for your apps. Finding something on Stack Overflow often involves diving deep through links after many trial-and-error Google searches. Sometimes you’ll even find another user mention the same bug you’ve been having, but without a fix in sight. Or even more frustrating are the times when you find a thread where the original poster has claimed to have found a fix but they’ve long since abandoned their thread without instructing others how to fix the issue.

Source: XKCD

 


An Example of a Subtle Fragmentation Issue

I’m not a developer myself, but I am familiar enough with the capabilities of Android after years of tinkering in Tasker that I’ve started pseudo-programming my own solutions to problems I’ve faced. And when I can’t figure something out, I Google it, just like everyone else does. While I was in the process of writing up my previous article about digging around your phone’s Settings app for hidden activities, I came across a rather odd bug that I could not explain. A bug unique to Huawei devices.

fragment 1 fragment 2

Whenever I tried to start certain activities (such as the “Testing” menu that contains app usage statistics) within the Settings app, I would always be met with a permission error. In particular, the app I was using to start the activity was lacking the permission huawei.android.permission.HW_SIGNATURE_OR_SYSTEM. No other device I tested required any unique permissions to launch these Settings activities, only phones running Huawei’s version of Android (EMUI). An analysis of com.android.settings revealed that certain activities within the Settings app was indeed under a protection level that required either the signature or system permission.

Unfortunately for me, this means that only apps installed under /system or apps signed with the same signature as the Settings app would be able to open these activities using the method I was attempting. When I Google searched this error for an answer, I (you guessed it) came across a Stack Overflow thread. The developer posting his problem came across the same issue that I did (although, his was in the process of actually developing an app). His problem came about when he attempted to run the following code:

Intent mainIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_MAIN, null);
mainIntent.addCategory(Intent.CATEGORY_LAUNCHER);
Intent pickIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_PICK_ACTIVITY);
pickIntent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_TITLE, "Pick App to Play in");
pickIntent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_INTENT, mainIntent);
this.startActivityForResult(pickIntent, REQUEST_PICK_APPLICATION);

Judging by the strings in the intent and the developer’s web page, he was likely trying to allow the user to pick a third-party app to play some media in. The fix, provided by veteran developer CommonsWare, was quite simple: use Intent.CreateChooser instead of ACTION_PICK_ACTIVITY. However, why should we need to implement this fix? Why is Huawei requiring this permission in the first place? Why did we need to find an answer on StackOverflow by using a very specific Google search?


The Paradox of Choice

To find an answer, CommonsWare filed a bug report on the Android bug tracker requesting that Google look into the issue. In particular, the developer requested that Google bar undocumented permission requirements from restraining third-party apps from accessing ACTION_PICK_ACTIVITY. By writing in these requirements in CTS, Huawei would be forced to comply with these changes.

To be honest, though, this bug itself really isn’t a big deal. Even though no other app I’ve tried (such as Tasker) was able to get around this permission requirement and launch certain activities within the Settings app, I wasn’t exactly disappointed by the outcome. But when I remembered the rant by Mr. Ambri, I realized that small changes such as these must be very frustrating to deal with, especially because as tiny as they might be, they undoubtedly add up, sometimes enough to cause a headache. One tiny change to the Settings app could result in an undeserved negative review against a developer. One tiny change that is rather poorly documented and required me to scour the Internet for a Stack Overflow thread. How many other small bugs are there on other devices? 

Increased competition in the mobile space has proven to be great for the consumer, but after seeing how these subtle changes across so many different product lines can affect developers, I’ve grown to appreciate the developer view towards fragmentation. It isn’t that the choice itself is the problem, but rather that the community isn’t doing enough to catalogue these issues. As Mr. Ambri suggested in his article, perhaps Android developers need their own version of caniuse.com or sdkcritic.com to collect all of the obscure bugs into one database. The only other alternative is getting OEMs to either properly document these changes or stop making them in the first place, but good luck with that.

Feature Image Credits: OpenSignal



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Alphabet Announces Impressive Results in Q2 Report

Alphabet also published their financial report this week and this showed the company brought in $21.3 billion in overall revenue for the quarter. This is up from $17.7 billion in revenue that they brought in during Q2 of last year. Of that $21.3 billion in revenue, $5.8 billion was non-GAAP net profit, and that is up from $4.8 billion when compared to the same quarter last year.



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LG’s Mobile Division Lost $132 Million in Q2

LG has just published their financial report for the second quarter of this year. The company’s mobile division lost $132 million due to weak sales of the LG G5, which is actually better than how they did in Q1 of this year with a lost of $170 million. However, LG was able to bring in $503 million in overall profit thanks to its home appliance and TV divisions.



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Samsung Financial Report Show Highest Profit in 2 Years

Thanks to the success of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung’s Q2 profits are the highest in 2 years. The company brought in $45.2 billion in overall revenue, which is up 5% compared to the same quarter last year. Of that $45.2 billion, $7.22 billion was pure profit and that was up 18% compared to the second quarter of 2015.



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Prisma to Support Videos in Future Update

Prisma Labs recently launched their popular art filter application in the Play Store and it has become wildly popular since its release. Bloomberg published an interview with the developers this week and it seems like they are working on a feature that will add video support to the app. However, we are told the company needs to improve its computing infrastructure before they release it.



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The LG V20 is an Important Device for LG, and They Don’t Have Room to Fall Short Again

Last month, we did a report on the walking of LG’s product design and how it’s been hurting them in sales. The main takeaway from this analysis is that LG is struggling to hit their stride in product design, and have yet to stick to one design for more than one or two device generations.

In the midst of constantly changing their products, LG put out a head-turning device that got quite a bit of attention, the LG V10. The V10 was unlike all of its previous phone companions in that it sported two of everything on the front face of the phone, was able to maintain a MIL-STD-810G certified shock resistant rating while being (subjectively) aesthetically pleasing, contained LG’s first attempt at a fingerprint reader (if you exclude the Nexus 5X reader), and is arguably the last great flagship phone to feature the classic-style removable battery.

With the successor to the V10, the LG V20 rumored to be released this September, it’s important that LG do not get ahead of themselves and take a look at what went wrong and what went right about the V10 in order to make a truly great V20. I’ve owned and used an LG V10 as a daily driver since January, and have seen first hand many of the pitfalls the V10 came with. I’m hoping that some of these issues are absent from its successor.


One of the biggest issues I’ve faced with my V10 is the software performance and clunkiness. If you’ve never used LG’s software, dubbed LG UX, then consider yourself mostly lucky. To say it’s completely unnecessary is an overstatement, given how LG has provided some useful additions to Android, in the form of QSlide Apps, Quick Remote, Capture+, and other various tweaks including all of the second screen tricks.

However, in changing the way Android works, as well as looks, it feels like LG didn’t give it their best in terms of optimization. The V10 has trouble keeping up with some basic tasks, and in a few not so rare occasions, completely freezes until I remove the battery and restart the phone. This can partly be attributed to the chipset in the V10, with the Snapdragon 808 chips having been notable for hindering performance on many phones. Even then, the G5 was also one of the poorer exponents of the more-recent 820, and even today the relative chunkiness can show through despite the strong hardware. Other times some things just break while not in use, with the “Second Screen has Stopped Working” message appearing often, even when I have the second screen disabled completely.

Another issue the V10 faced was build quality issues. Two major ones that I’ve been stricken with are the light bleed coming from the second screen, and the material on the back cover of the phone peeling off. The light bleed issue seems to be common among LCD panels, and did find its way to the G5. The back peeling issue has not come to the G5 given it has a completely different build material (with its own share of quality issues).

(Image Credit: androidguys.com) LG_Article_3

Something else that LG claims is hardware-related is their famous bootlooping issue. This issue first appeared on the LG G4, where a few months after release customer’s phones would turn off randomly and fall into a continuous boot loop. LG had claimed to fix the issue with a slight hardware update to the G4, but unfortunately many users of both the LG V10 and G5 have reported seeing the bootlooping issue on their devices. This is a serious issue, and I’m hoping LG can come up with a real fix before their fourth flagship in a row suffers from this deal breaking problem.


But amidst all of the issues that LG has seen with the V line so far, there are a few things that the V10 did well. It wasn’t the first phone with two screens, but it was the first to really use it in a productive manner. The mix of off-screen quick settings and music controls alongside a clock and notification ticker was very handy, and is something I would definitely love to see expanded upon. The screen-on features weren’t bad either, offering quick shortcuts to favorite apps, favorite contacts, music controls, upcoming events, and a signature if you’re into that.

Another strength in the V10 is it’s camera. LG is known for having outstanding cameras on their devices, and the rear facing camera on the V10 is no exception. The manual controls are such a welcome addition (and so well-implemented) that I will find it nearly impossible to move to a phone without them. The V10 also introduced native manual video controls, offering a much more robust video shooting experience unseen on most other phones. While I’m no professional photographer or filmographer, having these controls is a huge advantage that I hope to see return in the V20.

LG-V10-Manual-Camera-Mode-1024x768

Alongside these strengths is the V10’s durability. I’ve dropped my V10 on concrete more times than I’m proud of, but luckily have never seen so much as a scratch on the main display. The side rails have had a dent or two, but it didn’t cause the phone to look worn at all. Durability is a huge factor I wish every phone maker would take seriously. The V line, so far, has shown that it can take a beating, and keeping this up with the V20 could help LG a lot.

Despite my earlier gripes with their software, LG has taken some steps in fixing the package, with the update to LG UX that came with the LG G5. The update saw the removal of some of their key features, such as Multi-Window, and even the App Drawer (which was added back after a lot of criticism). They have done this in order to try and trim down on the software’s bloated nature, with the removal of their implementation of Multi-Window possibly being done so that they can have room for Android 7.0 Nougat’s native Multi-Window capabilities. Seeing as how the LG V10 retained the software package from the LG G4, it should be no stretch to expect a software experience similar to the G5 on the V20.

LG-G5-left-vs-LG-G4-right


Overall, LG is in a tight spot. With sales slipping they are going to have to pull off something great to avoid total disaster. The company knows it’s not doing well, having already laid off some top executives after the sales of the G5 turned out lower than anticipated. The one thing that can rectify their slipping sales is a great phone, and if they keep up the strengths of the V10 in its successor, while fixing some if its problems, they could very well have that phone that will save them in the long run. The V10 was already considered a breath of fresh air late last year, and LG is now gasping for such a thing as they seemingly drown inside the pit they dug themselves into with the G5. It was sad to see that despite all of its virtues, the V10 didn’t get the marketing attention it arguably should have from LG. But with another year comes another chance, and we hope that the V20 can not only be a worthy. no-nonsense successor to the V10, but also that it can give LG the success and breathing room it needs to become great once more.

What do you hope and/or expect to see in the LG V20? Drop a comment below and let us know!

 



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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Gets Its Own Forums!

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active makes for a good choice for people looking for a rugged phone with flagship specs. If you purchased an S7 Active, head on over to the forums!

 

 



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Weekly Debrief — The Note7, Nexus Sailfish, and More

It’s Friday which means we are THAT much closer to Christmas! Check out this week’s weekly recap in the form of a fresh new video. You can find the links to the articles that are featured down below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Flat) Working Prototype Featured in 11-Minute Long Video

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 unveiling is just round the corner, with the device being unveiled officially on 2nd August. We know a lot about the device so far — how it will look like, in whatcolors it will come in, what hardware will it sport internally and even have a glimpse on how the Iris Scanner will work. But if you’re still craving for yet more information about the device, we’ve got something sweet for you…

Read more

Android Nougat Beta Build for the Huawei P9 is Available – Get it Now!

Android Nougat’s fifth developer preview was recently released for Nexus devices, but for the past few months owners of any other non-Google devices have been waiting to get a chance to taste some of that sweet Nougat. We’ve known that OEMs have been internally testing Nougat releases for their devices (after all, Google shares their work with their partners to ensure timely updates for all) and it seems that Huawei is no exception…

Read More

Google Phone App Now Features Spam Protection

Ever since telemarketing became a thing, groups of people have tried to make the most by resorting to what is know as spam calls. These often take the form of automated voice recordings (or robocalls as they are often called) being played back to the receiver, often selling goods or services that the receiver may or may not be interested in…

Read more

Nexus Sailfish build.prop Leaked, Confirms 1080p Display and More

Last night, reputable leaker @EvLeaks asked its followers if releasing/giving the ROM dump for an upcoming Nexus phone would be of any use. Everyone, of course, asked him to do it for teardowns and the new information contained in its lines…

Read more



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Wikipedia’s Android Client Receives A Massive Update

You probably know Wikipedia well, given we all use it at some point or another.It’s one of the best sites from which you can learn about people, events or places, even if superficially. Now its Android client has been rewritten and features a completely redesigned home screen. As a result, reading Wikipedia will be much more enjoyable on mobile. Give it a shot!



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jeudi 28 juillet 2016

Docs and Sheets for Android Get Add-Ons Support

The Docs and Sheets apps on Android now come with Add-Ons Support. Google has teamed up with eight integration partners as of now to create seamless integrations for Docs and Sheets. These Add-Ons allow you to trigger actions above and beyond the standard Docs and Sheets functionality, like sign documents, create mobile apps from data in Sheets, scan business documents into Docs and more. You can check out all Add-Ons with this App Collection.



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Samsung’s Android-Powered Clamshell Smartphone, Galaxy Folder 2, Gets TENAA Approval

Samsung does not hesitate to test out new waters, or get back into old in this case, as a Clamshell design smartphone that runs on Android has now arrived at TENAA. The Samsung Galaxy Folder 2, as it is being called, will reportedly pack in a 3.8″ WVGA display with 800×480 resolution, a Snapdragon 425 SoC with Adreno 308 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (expandable) and will run on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The device has also passed through the FCC, meaning that it may also launch in the USA.



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Samsung Beats Apple in Smartphone Shipments for Q2 2016

Riding on the success of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung has beaten Apple for smartphone shipments for Q2 2016. Samsung’s shipments for April-June came at around 72 Million smartphones, while Apple’s iPhone shipments amounted to 40.4 Million units. However, a point to note is that the new iPhone is set to release in a few months, while Samsung’s strong sales received a boost from their newly released flagship.



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What Makes an App Worth Paying for?

Android is home to thousands and thousands of apps and games. But not all of these are created equal.

Some apps truly shine on what they do, while a lot of others try to cash in on the me-too phenomenon. On the other hand, there are apps which have strong ideas but fail on the execution. Whether it be sub-par implementation of the idea, lack of a friendly UI or simply being priced exorbitantly — there tend to be caveats that turn a lot of users away. We ask you,

What makes an app worth paying for? What factors convince you to part with your money? Do you prefer strong execution in the concept, or does UX come front and center? Do you look for a developer that is receptive to feedback?



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XDA Subforums Live for Blackberry DTEK50!

With Blackberry releasing their second Android device in the Blackberry DTEK50 (rebranded Alcatel Idol 4), subforums have been created for the device! If you plan to purchase the device, head on over to take a look at the forums!



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Dash Charging Kernel Code Released for the OnePlus 3!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Flat) Working Prototype Featured in 11-Minute Long Video

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 unveiling is just round the corner, with the device being unveiled officially on 2nd August. We know a lot about the device so far — how it will look like, in what colors it will come in, what hardware will it sport internally and even have a glimpse on how the Iris Scanner will work. But if you’re still craving for yet more information about the device, we’ve got something sweet for you.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 just starred in a 11 minute long video, where a lot of different aspects of the device were shown off. Grab some popcorn, dim the lights and watch this feature length demo:

Right off the bat, you’ll notice something off… Where’s the curved display? The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 demoed off in the video is a prototype device, and to note, it’s apparently prototype of a flat, non-curved variant. A lot of previous leaks, rumors and renders only pitched that Samsung had chosen to stick with a curved display Note 7 only, with no Flat variant being planned for the final consumer. But in this demo, a prototype non-Edge Note 7 is being shown off, which means that Samsung may have toyed with the idea at the very least. It still remains unknown if such a variant will ever make it to the market, and we’ll probably have to wait till the official unveiling for more info in general.

Some more points to note is that since this is a prototype, the hardware and likely the software is not final. The video shows off the insides as being the Exynos 8890 with 4GB of RAM. The camera sensor on this device was the Sony IMX260, but again, it’s a prototype. Samsung also tends to swap around camera sensors with their own, so things can change by the time of the final release. The video also shows off the S Pen, the Iris scanner and some benchmarks for the device.

While still not final or official in any manner, the video gives us a very good look at what to expect when the Galaxy Note 7 comes out. The mystery still continues on #TeamFlat vs #TeamEdge for the Note 7, and we’re curious to see if Samsung does decide to go both ways. One can dream, eh?

What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 so far? Let us know in the comments below!



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Beating The Game CLARC

In this XDA TV video, we have something a little different for you. For the most part, it’s a pretty rare thing for anyone to play an Android game from start to finish. If you’re like me, you rarely have the game on your phone for more than two days. So Taylor decided to take on the task and finding and completing an Android game and seeing if it’s worth the time and money spent on it. 

The game he settled on is called CLARC. Right now it’s available on the Play store for $2.90. This puzzle/adventure game will follow the story of a robot who falls in love with a nuclear missile named Clara. Taylor takes us through his experience playing the game and describes how the game holds up over a long period of time.

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In the beginning, the puzzles start out very simple. You’ll learn the controls and the gameplay fairly quickly. The game introduces new challenges at a steady rate as the game goes on. After beating the game, Taylor finds that it was able to keep him engaged and entertained the entire time. Check out the video for his full in-depth review.

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This video is not sponsored. This will be a new series where Taylor reviews games from start to finish to let you know if it’s worth investing the time into playing it. You can help decide what he plays next by leaving suggestions in the comments.

Download CLARC



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Here’s how to Access Hidden Settings on your Phone

Depending on what flavor of Android your phone is based on, you might be stuck with a settings page that is… a bit of a mess to say the least.

For that reason, Google introduced a search feature in the settings app starting with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

search

Settings App Search Menu

However, there are a few settings screens that are inaccessible from this search bar. These are activities that are able to be called within the Settings app, however, they require you to directly invoke them as the manufacturer has not otherwise provided a user-accessible link. The easiest way to launch these settings are to use an app like Activity Launcher, but Nova Launcher/Tasker and other apps are able to access these activities as well. What hidden menus you are able to access differs across devices, but here are a few examples that I’ve found on the Nexus 6P (that should be accessible on most Android phones) as well as a few that are specific to the Huawei P9.


Notification Log

notification log

Did you know that Android logs all of your notifications? Since Android 4.3, Google has tucked away a hidden settings page called the Notification log that lists every notification received with the notification’s title, status bar icon, originating app, and time the notification was posted. Unfortunately, the log does not record detailed information about a notification so you’re unable to see the exact contents of a Hangouts message, for instance. This settings page can be found at com.android.settings.Settings$NotificationStationActivity.


Detailed Cellular/Network Information and App Usage Statistics

testing

There is a hidden “Testing” settings page (com.android.settings.TestingSettings) that can be readily accessed by many Android phones. Within the settings screen here, you are able to view detailed information about your current cellular and WiFi collection as well as app usage statistics. Within the Phone Information page (directly accessible via com.android.settings.RadioInfo), for instance, you can see a list of nearby cellular towers (I’ve redacted that part in my screenshot because the list is very large), your signal strength, and some network testing information such as successful packets sent/received. In addition, you can set your preferred network type, disable the cellular radio (effectively the same as enabling airplane mode, without toggling WiFi/Bluetooth), and change some other network settings. Be warned that these network settings are hidden for a reason, so do not change any settings unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re doing.

radio 1 radio 2 radio 3

Next up is the Usage Statistics (directly accessible via com.android.settings.UsageStatsActivity) screen. Here, we have a page that provides us some basic information about how much time we spend using certain apps. Android logs and lists your app usage and allows you to sort by usage time, last time the app was used, or by app name. It’s a quick and easy way to see what apps you regularly use without having to give permission to a third party app to track your habits. And yes, it persists across reboots.

usage stats

Finally, there’s the hidden WiFi settings page (directly accessible via com.android.settings.wifi.WifiInfo or by entering *#*#4636#*#* in the dialer). There’s not much useful information to be gleaned here for the average user, though. The WiFi API page lists a few options that developers can use to pull information about the device’s WiFi connection, but there’s nothing for you to use. The WiFi Config page provides a ton of information about your currently configured WiFi networks, though, so if that information is relevant to you then you’ll enjoy this page. Finally, the Wifi Status page provides a more condensed version of your Wifi configuration and even allows you to run a quick ping test to test your connection.

wifi info 2

Note: You must hit “Refresh Stats” to see detailed information.


Huawei P9-Specific Settings

Here’s where things get interesting. Device manufacturers often hide specific settings of their own, and just like the above few activities you’ll have to do some digging to find some of these. For Huawei’s P9, here are a few that I’ve found.

USB OTG Toggle

USB OTG

Now here’s an oddball feature. Apparently, there’s a hidden toggle that was supposed to be used to enable/disable USB OTG (and by default the option is off) but for some reason it was left out of the settings app. As far as I know, USB OTG works regardless of whether or not the option is enabled in this screen. Perhaps Huawei originally intended to disable the feature by default, but then decided against it?

Signal Icon Style

signal

This setting allows you to change the behavior of the signal icon, depending on how many SIM cards you have inserted (the Huawei P9 accepts two SIMs).

Time Display Mode

time

This setting lets you choose whether or not you want to display the timestamp seen in calls, messages, and calendar in local time or Beijing time. I’m not sure why this menu exists, but if you need it it’s there to use.

Audio Balance

balance

Here’s an interesting one that was hidden by Huawei: a sound balancing feature. Supposedly, you are supposed to be able to control the left/right sound balance using this slider, but I couldn’t hear any difference. Perhaps Huawei scrapped this feature partway through development, so we might see it in a future Huawei phone.


Now that we’ve gone through a few of the hidden settings activities as well as how to access them, you should try digging through your phone’s settings app to see if you can find anything interesting. Who knows, there could be a really useful feature that was cut at the last minute!

Give it a show and let us know what you find in the comments below.



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Defining Bloatware: Where Do YOU Draw the Line?

Bloatware. The very word makes Nexus purists cringe and carrier users flee for the hills. Typically this is for good reason, just the word bloatware is disgusting and gets lumped together with the other ‘wares’.

For many of us buying a carrier branded device it means spending 15 minutes pruning our phone; Facebook, Visual Voicemail, NFL Mobile… gone, gone and gone. But depending on who you ask, applications one may consider bloat could be someone else’s favorite. Some people will purge their phones of all things Google Play [insert service here] while others keep and regularly use pre-installed software. One man’s trash could truly be another’s treasure. So where do we draw the imaginary lines of what is and isn’t bloat, is it strictly a matter of choice, and who crosses those lines?

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Yeah, your junk

There is no doubt that bloatware is talked about more now than ever before. It also is a fact that the term bloatware spikes during major Android OEM device launches reaching an all-time high during the Note 5 launch last year. So what is considered as bloat? That definition varies from user to user. It is also the reason as to why we shouldn’t be using a blanket phrase to identify any auxiliary software over and above the core function of a device. For example, Verizon bundles a host of applications with phones sold on their service. One application is Verizon Messages and while on the surface it can quickly be ignored as “bloat” it also has a very useful feature, SMS sync.

Hate that Pushbullet charges you to sync SMS over a small limit? Verizon’s messaging application has had SMS sync since the Galaxy Nexus days. and I know a number of people who use it regularly. While we give Verizon a lot of crap it is a very useful application that people use and is beneficial. Likewise Samsung bundles applications like Samsung+. While on the surface it can easily be written off as another piece of Samsung “bloat” it serves the function of device support directly from Samsung. We often complain about Android devices not receiving the same level of support that Apple devices get and this is a small step in the right direction. Further Samsung also includes some system level enhancements such as the Theme Store and S-Suite that are genuinely useful, even if they can cause duplicate app situations.

tmobiletv

An old man’s Netflix

While these are just a few small examples, bloatware has a bad connotation for a good reason. While Samsung bundles some very useful applications and tools with its phones it also bundles a version of Clean Master’s SDK which includes some “useful” things like a RAM cleaner, cache cleaner and “security” suite… Clean Master is hardly something most of us would consider “useful”. AT&T bundles the wildly popular and superbly useful DirecTV application with its phones and T-Mobile insistent on pushing its T-Mobile TV service. It gets worse though as ASUS found out last year with the Zenfone with its legendary amount of bloat. Examples like these are why bloatware is such a derogatory term and why it is so often used as a blanket term for any pre-installed applications.

While there are both good and bad examples of bloatware, blanketing an entire spectrum of all pre-installed isn’t fair. For many users these applications aren’t bloat. While the common complaint against Samsung devices on the forums is the sheer amount of changes and additions to the software, that software is also a contributor as to why Samsung is the world’s largest OEM. A dividing line needs to be drawn when and if we consider an application as bloat. Things like: is this useful, is the UI/UX attractive or manageable, or is this just an app for the sake of an app? Other things to consider are is this actually negatively affecting the consumer, is this possibly a security issue on the device, and how much space is it taking up should be looked at as well.

Where do you draw the line? What’s bloatware to you? Let us know below!



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Google Announces New Linux Kernel Defenses for Android

To help keep Android and its kernel more secure, Google has announced a number of new mechanisms within Android. For memory protections, they will mark memory as read-only/no-execute, restrict kernel access to userspace, and improve protection against stack buffer overflows. For attack surface reductions, they will remove default access to debug features, restrict app access to IOCTL commands, and also require Seccomp-BMF.



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The LaunchKit Team is Joining Google

Yesterday, the co-founder of LaunchKit announced the team behind their products and service would be joining Google’s Developer Products Group. They’ll continue to make tools that helps developers deploy their apps, but it will just be for Google. The LaunchKit tools are now open source, and the LaunchKit service will run independently (for current users) for the next 12 months before being closed.



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HERE Maps is Updated with a New Name and New UX

HERE Maps was just renamed to HERE WeGo, and this update comes with an improved UI and user experience. The Find a Route option used to be at the bottom but now the search box says Where to? so you can immediately input your destination. The app is also getting a new transportation option in various cities from the car-sharing firm Car2Go.



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Nextbit Robin is Now Available in Ember

Nextbit is heavily invested in their first and only smartphone, the Robin. The team behind the phone continues to talk about future software features they want to bring to the device, and now there’s a new color variant to choose from. This version is called Ember, and it is priced just like the others at $299.00.



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Lenovo Announces the Rio 2016 Edition of the ZUK Z2

Similarly to Samsung, Lenovo has just re-released one of their smartphones as a special edition for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. This version of the ZUK Z2 is a little different than its original though. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage compared to the 4GB/64GB combo that the original has. It also comes with Rio 2016 themes and wallpapers pre-installed on it.



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Rumor Says Nintendo’s Next Console uses the Tegra X1 SoC

There have been a number of rumors that claimed the Nintendo NX console would be a mobile platform, but they have mostly been brushed off until this week. Eurogamer claims multiple sources are telling them it will use NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 SoC. This is the same chip that powers the NVIDIA Shield TV, Google Nexus 9, and the Google Pixel C.



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mercredi 27 juillet 2016

Google’s Family Library Now Live; Allows Sharing of Content with Upto Six People

Google’s Family Library is finally rolling out to users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. Family Library enables family members (upto 6) to share purchased content in the form of eligible apps, games, movies, TV shows, or books across devices without needing to purchase them again. In-app purchases and some apps and games purchased before 2nd July 2016 are not eligible for sharing.



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Android Nougat Beta Build for the Huawei P9 and Mate 8 is Available – Get it Now!

Android Nougat’s fifth developer preview was recently released for Nexus devices, but for the past few months owners of any other non-Google devices have been waiting to get a chance to taste some of that sweet Nougat. We’ve known that OEMs have been internally testing Nougat releases for their devices (after all, Google shares their work with their partners to ensure timely updates for all) and it seems that Huawei is no exception. Today, an OTA link that updates the Huawei P9 and the Mate 8 to a beta build of Android 7.0 Nougat has been captured that includes the updated EMUI 5.0 skin.

Mate 8 users can use the OTA link to update their device by clicking on the link captured in this thread over on our forums. P9 owners can use the OTA links captured in its respective forum as well. Get flashing, and let us know your thoughts on Huawei’s take on Android Nougat! Here’s a video of some of the features in action:



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Xiaomi Releases Redmi Pro with Helio X25 and Dual Rear Cameras

Following up on successful products in the low/mid end such as the Redmi Note 3 and in niche markets like the Mi Max, Xiaomi has released the Redmi Pro, the new “Redmi Flagship”. In typical Xiaomi fashion, the Redmi Pro packs in a punch on a budget, but one of the main selling points of the phone will be its Dual Rear Camera setup.

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The Redmi Pro bears an aluminium body with a brushed metal finish. Since the device bears external plastic antennae as visible on the body, it would be no surprise if the device sported a unibody setup. The back of the device is home to the dual cameras, which is the main USP of the device. The fingerprint sensor, which is usually found on the back below the camera in Xiaomi’s budget offerings, is now placed on the front just like it was on the Mi 5. The front of the device also houses a 5.5″ OLED display, promising greater contrast than typical LCD displays.

Twitter_Redmi Pro_27July 1130am.015

On the inside, the Redmi Pro comes in two processor variants: one with Helio X20 SoC and one with Helio X25 SoC. The Helio X25 SoC bears a tri-cluster setup built on a 20nm process. The low power cores comprise of 4x Cortex-A53 clocked ordinarily at 1.55GHz, the medium power cores comprise of 4x Cortex-A53 clocked at 2.0GHz while the performance part of things is handled by 2x Cortex-A72 clocked at 2.5GHz. The Helio X20 is similar in its setup but bears lower clock speeds across all clusters. The GPU on these SoCs falls on the Mali-T880 with different clock speeds for either.

The Helio X20 variant comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The Helio X25 is further divided into two variants, with the middle variant being the one with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and the top variant being the one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Asides from these, there does not appear to be anymore differences between the variants. So you can expect a hybrid SIM slot, a USB Type C port, a front fingerprint scanner and a hefty 4,050 mAh battery across all the three variants.

As mentioned earlier, the unique feature of the Redmi Pro is its twin camera setup on the back. The primary rear camera is a 13MP Sony IMX258 sensor, while the secondary rear camera is a 5MP Samsung sensor responsible for capturing information related to the depth of field. Xiaomi is boasting of DSLR quality bokeh with these, but seeing how one other company erred with their claims in the past, we will withhold judgement till we get to try out the device. The front camera is a 5MP shooter with a wide angle lens.

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Interestingly, Xiaomi did not mention the MIUI or the Android version of the device in their announcement blog post. But an educated guess would be that the device would be coming in with MIUI 8 on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The device is currently released only for the Chinese market with prices starting off at CNY 1,499 ($225) for the base variant of the Redmi Pro, CNY 1,699 ($255) for the middle variant and CNY 1,999 ($300) for the top variant. Pricing and availability of the device outside of China is unknown at this stage, but we can expect the phone to land in the Indian market with a Snapdragon SoC within the INR 20,000 mark.

What are your thoughts on the Redmi Pro? Let us know in the comments below!



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Grace UX ROM for the Galaxy Note 5

So as we all know the Galaxy Note 7 is right around the corner and if you’re curious about the software we might get on the final product, you can try out the Grace UX ROM on your Galaxy Note 5. This ROM is designed with Note 7 features in mind. Zach takes us on a tour of the ROM in this new XDA TV video.

vlcsnap-2016-07-26-20h09m01s651

So this is Grace UI/UX and right here it’s running on a t-mobile Galaxy Note 5. It’s a ROM that can easily be flashed to your device and has a lot of really cool features.

The Icons

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The new icon set is featured in this ROM, so you’ll have all of the awesome new Samsung icons to make your device look a little better. Also, don’t forget about Samsung’s new theme store where you can get a new icon pack if you’re not a fan of stock.

Folders

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When you open a folder of icons, you’ll notice the ugly background has been removed and you’re left with a much improved look.

App Drawer

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Just like the folders, similar changes have been made to the background of the app drawer. You’ll be greeted with a blur effect on your current wallpaper to give your system a much cleaner look. If you look up at the top of the app drawer you’ll see a useful little search bar to help you find your apps.

Notification Menu

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The notification menu has been updated to resemble the bar that comes in Android Nougat. Definitely an upgrade. The notification bar also has a device search feature under the brightness slider.

Blue Light Filter

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Use the blue light filter to adjust your screen to make it easier on the eyes. This comes in handy at night, so use the custom timer to schedule times to automatically adjust your screen.

These are some of the coolest features in the Grace UX ROM. Download it for yourself using the link below.

[UX BETA3] System Dump and Stock Original rom



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Bootloader Unlock Script for the BLU R1 HD Prime

Earlier this week the XDA community gained root access to the BLU R1 HD Prime, and now the bootloader has been unlocked. Thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor Tomsgt, all you have to do is execute a simple batch script to unlock it.



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LG Display Invests $1.75 Billion in New Generation Flexible OLED

With LG’s latest investment, the CEO of LG Display believes this 6th generation will be a “paradigm shift” to the OLED market. The new production line will be in the company’s P9 plant in Paju, South Korea. It is said to begin mass production in the second half of 2018, and will produce 15,000 input sheets per month.



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Xiaomi Issues Statement Regarding Mi 4i Explosion Incident

Yesterday, we wrote about an explosion incident that occurred with a Xiaomi device. A seemingly normal office scenario quickly turned into one of panic and confusion as a Xiaomi Mi 4i burst into flames while its user was using it. While the scenario itself is rare when you consider the immense sales and popularity of mobile devices, it is a grave and serious incident nonetheless as someone could have borne physical injuries or burns. User safety is paramount when average consumer electronics are concerned, and in ordinary circumstances, they should not react as the phone reacted as per the CCTV footage of the incident.

Xiaomi reached out to us with an official statement regarding the whole situation:

We take such matters seriously and we have already been investigating the matter. We have been in touch with the customer and will be getting his device this week to do further investigation. In the meantime, we have offered a replacement phone to the customer.

Fault or no fault, it is good to see Xiaomi act in the greater good of the consumer. Offering a replacement phone while they are investigating the issue certainly wins brownie points from us. We hope that they find out the exact cause of the issue and work towards rectifying it, if it was on their end.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind all our users that the devices that we often take for granted have the potential of causing harm if used incorrectly. Sub par chargers and cables are so commonplace around us, especially in India where it is far cheaper to grab a cable off the illegal hawker on the road than to buy a genuine pair from an authorized store. There’s a reason why phones and their accessories come with warnings, but most of us brush them aside without a second thought. Please exercise due care and precaution when handling electronics. And please, do not try to put out electrical fires with mineral water.



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LG Display Sees 91% Decrease of YoY Profit in Q2

It’s obvious that LG hasn’t had the best year so far and the Q2 financial report from LG Display shows it hasn’t been good for this subdivision either. While their overall revenue only dropped 13% compared to the same quarter last year, the company saw a 91% decrease in operating profit.



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Sony Announces Press Event for IFA on September 1st

Sony has been at IFA for a while now so it shouldn’t be any surprise that they’ve just confirmed they’ll be there this year as well. Their press event will take place on September 1st at 13:00 CEST, but it’s known what they will be announcing. Some have speculated that they’ll finally announced the heavily leaked F833X device but even that is unclear at this time.



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LeEco Confirms Acquisition of VIZIO for $2 Billion

Thanks to a $2 billion acquisition, VIZIO is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of LeEco. This means that VIZIO will continue operating as they are, and you should still see their products on store shelves under the same brand name. This move is just the latest step in LeEco’s plans of expanding their products and services into the United States.



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Google Announces New Categories for the Play Store

Within the next 60 days, you’ll see the following new application categories in the Play Store: Art & Design, Auto & Vehicles, Beauty, Dating, Events, Food & Drink, House & Home, and Parenting. On top of this, Google is also renaming the Transportation category to Maps & Navigation, and they’re renaming the Media & Video category to Video Players & Editors.



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OnePlus Customer Service in 2016: How My Faulty Unit was Handled

Despite telling myself I wouldn’t do so, I bought a OnePlus 3 on launch day. For the first time ever with OnePlus, ordering was incredibly easy with no invites or hoops to jump through. In a little over a week I had my new OnePlus 3. Thus far, I share Mario’s positive thoughts on the device.

I use and own far too many phones, and the OnePlus 3 is easily one of my favorites.

oneplus camera focusUnfortunately, after a week or two my OnePlus 3 developed an issue where the camera would no longer focus. Tapping on the screen would no longer change the focus, though the exposure would still change. A bit of googling led me to a few threads like this one where at least a couple of users had the same issue. After trying every variation of wiping, restoring, other kinds of TWRP magic, and crossing fingers… the camera just wouldn’t focus.

Sadly, it looked like for the first time in owning all 3 OnePlus flagships – I would have to deal with their support. Despite claims of an improved customer service experience, there is still a sizable negative reputation regarding OnePlus support, and it’s arguably understandable given the strong stigma that’s left after the catastrophic OnePlus One issues.

After a quick live chat on with no complaints on my end, my case was created and “escalated” to a specialist. A day later I had answered a few questions via email and i was given a (2 day) shipping label to send my phone off to get repaired.

The repair facility received my package on Wednesday, July 13th. On thursday the 14th I decided to ping OnePlus support and politely ask for an estimated time for diagnosis and repair (mainly because I actually missed the phone). OnePlus’s customer service representative responded politely saying that they hadn’t received confirmation from the repair facility just yet and to bear with them. So far, no worries. I can be patient and I understand that all these people involved are busy.

OnePlus answer editUnfortunately another week rolled by and I still hadn’t heard back from anyone about my device. I sent another email to the CSR asking about where my device was and if someone could please update me. I immediately received a response (pictured) saying my device was processed and back on its way.

Shortly after reaching out I had a new OnePlus 3 coming to my doorstep. The initial shipping estimate showed the device arriving to me on July 31st. The page makes an obvious claim that this is just an estimate, and it was. Thankfully, I got my replacement (in retail packaging, so an extra Dash charger for me) this past Saturday, July 23rd.

Overall I’m fairly satisfied with the experience. I would have preferred to have OnePlus be more proactive and less reactive (to my few emails.) I really should not have to go a week without having any idea what is going on with my brand new phone. Thankfully, each CSR I dealt with was incredibly polite, and very responsive once I reached out to them. In total I was without my device for 13 days or so. I’ve had to use Samsung repair services a few times and I’ve been deviceless for similar lengths of time. I’m sure there are worse OEMs out there, and I’m sure there are better. Keep in mind that I’m just a single OnePlus customer and in no way claim to know every single case of OnePlus’s support tales. A glance at the OnePlus forums reveals plenty of stories both good and bad. 

I guess the gist of this experience is just that when you’re spending $400 on a device, don’t expect $800 device support. OnePlus simply won’t have the manpower that someone like Samsung or Apple has. It’s not realistic to expect as much. For the cost of the device, and the lack of their retail presence, I think OnePlus did a fine job given their constraints. But as the saying (sadly) usually goes with OnePlus, your mileage may vary.

What has your experience with OEMs’ customer service been like? Sound off in the comments!



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Intel’s Multi-OS Engine Allows Developers to Create Native iOS or Android Apps with Java

Many of us have likely come across on app on a different platform that made us wonder: “why in the world can’t I download this already?”

I’m sure you’ve heard of one such app that’s all the rage lately, Prisma. Prisma launched on iOS on June 11 and was immediately a smash hit. A little over a month later, Prisma was finally publically released on Android. One month turnaround isn’t so bad, but many popular apps have taken much longer to make their way over to the other platform. But why? Quite often, it’s simply due to resource allocation. iOS users still lead the pack in terms of in-app purchases compared to Android users. So if you’re a business trying to make money and you have limited funds to invest in creating an app,  it makes sense to initially focus on iOS.

Over time, however, several development toolsets have been released to simplify cross-platform development. One such popular toolset is called the Xamarin Platform, recently acquired by Microsoft, which enables developers with skills in C# to create mobile applications for Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile on their Mac or Windows PC environment. Developers who are most comfortable with Java were looking forward to using RoboVM to code for iOS, until that project was shut down this April. So what else can Java developers use? Fortunately, Intel has been working on a project these past few months called the “Multi-OS Engine“, available today only as a Technical Preview, that is aimed at enabling Java developers an easy way to cross-develop for both iOS and Android.


Meet the Multi-OS Engine, by Intel

The advantages of using the Multi-OS Engine for mobile app development are plentiful, according to Intel. For starters, you are able to build apps on either a Mac or on Windows if you use a server. Multi-OS Engine is a stand-alone plug-in that integrates with Android Studio. Developers looking to code for iOS can start a project for an Android app in Android Studio, then use Multi-OS Engine’s tools to configure the project as an iOS app. You can access many iOS-specific platform APIs that are otherwise unavailable in Java, and you can create bindings to generate Java code for common Objective-C and C libraries. The code that you write will be compiled to native ARM or x86 code. No knowledge of Objective C is required.

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Intel claims that the performance of an app created using Multi-OS Engine is on par with a native app. As for creating the app’s UI, Intel states that Android developers should continue working through Android Studio while iOS apps can be designed using the UI designer provided in Multi-OS Engine. Given the demise of RoboVM, many developers are understandably worried that the project could soon be abandoned, which would frustrate any user who would potentially invest a lot of time and effort getting behind the project. Intel states that its Multi-OS Engine is poised to be released as an open-source project, but sources have yet to drop. For now, at least, the project is free.


Any developer interested in using Intel’s new Multi-OS Engine can sign up for the Technical Preview here or view a more detailed documentation here.

 



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mardi 26 juillet 2016

Android Pay Appears to No Longer Work with Systemless Root

Several users on our Nexus 5X forum are reporting that Android Pay has suddenly stopped working on systemless root configurations. Users surmise that Google pulled a server side switch that killed the work-around.



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Use Gamepads on Android With Game Controller Tester

Modern Android devices are designed to be comprehensive solutions for users. Some of them serve us really well as portable game consoles. Using a gamepad is one way of maximizing your gaming experience. If you plan to do so, XDA Senior Member Catalyst06 has something to offer. The Game Controller Tester app allows players tweaking game controllers effortlessly. Give it a shot and rock in your games!



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A Graphical Simple ADB Lands on Linux

A short while ago we’ve covered the Simple ADB tool that brought a nice interface for ABD and Fastboot. This tool worked only on Windows, but XDA Senior Member mhashem6 did a great job adding Linux compatibility. If you’re on Ubuntu or other Linux distribution, give it a shot!



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Motorola Clarifies Monthly Security Update Situation; Still Non-Committal to Monthly Updates

There were reports earlier that Motorola would not commit to monthly security updates for its devices, including newly launched flagships. Motorola then mentioned that devices will receive security updates. However, with this latest statement, Motorola has clarified that security updates will come to devices, but not in a monthly fashion citing difficulty in doing update procedures on a monthly basis. Head on over to the source article to read the full statement.



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BlackBerry Officially Announces the DTEK50

The BlackBerry DTEK50 is the company’s thinnest BlackBerry to date. We’ve heard lots of rumors about this device (with TCL manufacturing it) and now we can see it is essentially a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4. As with all BlackBerry devices though, it’s the software and security is where the DTEK50 will shine.

 



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Xiaomi Mi4i Explodes While in Use at an Office

Last week, Xiaomi user ‎Ajay Raj Negi‎ posted to the Mi Mobile Facebook page about his phone exploding while in use. The incident happened on July 16, 2016 while he was in his office around his other co workers. Attached to his Facebook post is a video of the phone exploding.

During the video, you can see that Ajay was using his phone while under standard office settings, when he suddenly jumped out of his chair and threw his phone. The phone then began to spark and caught fire. Luckily the situation was under control and no one was severely hurt during the incident. Pictures of the accident can be found below.

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Ajay did indeed mention that his unit of the Mi4i was purchased through Flipkart. We cannot confirm at this time that this incident is indeed Xiaomi’s fault, however. Xiaomi has however responded to a few concerned customers about the event, citing that they are currently investigating the incident to pinpoint a specific cause.

This isn’t the first time a portable electronic device has caught fire or exploded under regular use, but it is still concerning knowing that it still happens at seemly random times. This also isn’t the first time a Xiaomi phone has caught fire and exploded, with the less recent incident happening back in 2013.

We will continue updating this article as more details become available. It is possible that Xiaomi are not to blame for the issue.

Thanks for the tip: Dhilip_me



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